Commission presented a proposal for financial discipline to ensure that CAP spending remains within budget limits

The European Commission has tabled a proposal for "Financial Discipline" to ensure that spending remains within budget limits. The proposal aims to introduce a linear cut in CAP Direct Payments in order to ensure that the ceiling for the CAP's first pillar in the forthcoming year is respected.

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Political agreement reached in the Council on the reform of the common agricultural policy (CAP)

EU Agriculture Ministers reached an agreement on a general approach on the four main proposals for regulations within the framework of reform of the common agricultural policy (CAP). This agreement will enable negotiations to be launched between the Parliament and the Council with a view to political agreement in June this year.

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Budgetary Control Committee approved the 2011 spending for which the Commission was responsible

MEPs at the Budgetary Control Committee in the European Parliament approved the European Commission's management of EU spending under the 2011 budget. MEPs also underlined that spending by member states' administrations under the "shared management" regime - accounting for 80% of the EU budget - had not improved.

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MEPs voted its position for negotiations with member states on the EU farm policy

The European Parliament voted in plenary session its position for negotiations with EU member states on the CAP reform. This will be the first EU farm policy reform shaped by Parliament as a full co-legislator with EU member states. Among other things, the Parliament voted in favour of the publication of beneficiaries of EU agricultural funding and inserted a list of land-owners.

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€414 million of CAP expenditure from Member States is being claimed by the Commission

The European Commission is claiming a total of €414 million of EU agricultural policy funds unduly spent by Member States. Under this latest decision, funds will be recovered from 22 member states. Because some of these amounts have already been recovered from the Member States the net financial impact of this decision will be some €393 million.

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Many member states support the development of a protein supply system specific to the EU

EU ministers held two policy debates within the framework of the common agricultural policy (CAP) reform. In addition many of them supported the proposal of the Austrian delegation for launching initiatives allowing the development of a protein supply system specific to the EU. The Commission also gave an overview of the current situation regarding food products containing horsemeat mislabelled as beef.

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New agricultural measures for outermost regions and Aegean islands adopted by the Council

Following a first reading agreement with the European Parliament, the Council adopted regulations laying down specific measures for agriculture in the outermost regions of the EU and in the smaller Aegean islands. Among other things, a specific provision has been added to the regulation allowing a one-off payment of €40 millions in 2013 in order to allow the sector of banana production in outermost regions to adapt to the reduction of banana tariffs following the latest trade agreements.

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EU Ministers discuss the draft directive on indirect land-use change

Ministers were invited to answer two questions raised by the presidency, one focussing on whether the draft directive adequately fulfils its objectives of addressing indirect land-use change emissions and encouraging the transition to advanced biofuels, and the second relating to its support for the achievement of the existing energy and climate change objectives in the EU.

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